Teaching Ambassador Fellowship
2009 Alumni Washington Fellow
Bio/Overview:Rodríguez currently teaches ESL at Grandview Hills Elementary and Westside Elementary in Leander School District, both suburban, public schools. After completing his undergraduate education at Pan American University and receiving an Honorable Discharge from the United States Marine Corps, Rodríguez began his professional work in the urban planning profession at the Lower Rio Grande Valley Development Council, a regional council of government. He later received his alternative teaching certification and began teaching in Weslaco School District. Rodríguez taught 3rd and 4th grades at Cleckler-Heald Elementary before moving to Beatriz Garza Middle School where he taught 6th and 8th grades. He earned an M.P.Aff. at the L.B.J. School of Public Affairs, University of Texas at Austin. .
Achievements: In 2001, Rodríguez received Weslaco Schools’ District Teacher of the Year Award and the Outstanding Educator of the Year award from the League of United Latin American Citizens. In 2002, he was selected as a nominee for Region One Teacher of the Year in South Texas. Rodríguez also contributed to the Middle Childhood Generalist Standards 3rd Edition, published in 2012 by the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards.
Leadership Experience: Rodríguez has acted as a presenter, panelist, and keynote speaker for many education policy events, particularly on data systems and English Language Learners. In 2009, he was a presenter at the Blue Ribbon Schools Ceremony in Washington, D.C. In 2010, Rodriguez collaborated with the U.S. Treasury Department to help develop the National Teacher Toolkit on financial literacy; he also served as a Special Adviser to the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanic Americans. In 2011, Rodriguez transported a twelve-foot oak tree from Austin to D.C. (over 1,500 miles) and planted it on the grounds of the Lyndon Baines Johnson Department of Education Building in southwest Washington, D.C.; this special tree serves as the official tree of the U.S. Department of Education. In 2011, he was the keynote speaker at Lasara High School’s inaugural graduation. In 2013 he was a panelist with Secretary Arne Duncan at the Reimagining Education Summit in Washington, D.C.
Affiliations: Center for Teaching Quality, Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages, Texas Association for Bilingual Education, National Association for Bilingual Education
Education: Rodríguez earned his Bachelor’s degree in Government at Pan American University. He went on to receive a Master’s degree in Public Policy from the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas at Austin.Areas of Interest/Expertise:
- Teacher Leadership and Effectiveness
- English for Speakers of Other Languages
- Data systems
- Rural education